Ashdod power plant 390.
(photo credit: Amir Cohen/Reuters)
Due to the lack of production reserves in the electricity sector, Energy and
Water Minister Uzi Landau said he expects there to be temporary power outages
during peak energy usage hours in the remaining winter days.
therefore recommended that the public avoid using gas-guzzling devices – such as
dishwashers, washing machines, ovens, electric water boilers and vacuum cleaners
– between the hours of 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., and ensure that heaters are down to 22
On Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., the country was expected to reach a
peak power demand of 11,100 megawatts, which would be provided via the combined
efforts of the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) as well as private production,
the ministry said.
“Today [Wednesday, February 1], like last week,
Israel’s electricity sector is at risk of forced electricity outages due to the
difficult of supply versus great demand,” said Dr. Yehuda Niv, head of
the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources’ Electricity Authority.
important that the public realizes that savings of 3 kilowatt-hours of household
energy consumption constitutes savings of liters of diesel fuel.”
week, the ministry had reported that the year 2011 had seen a 200 percent
increase in diesel fuel consumption and a 108% rise in jet fuel oil use for
electricity generation, in part due to the decreased availability of natural gas
– a trend that the ministry predicted would continue through
However, in a letter sent to Landau on Tuesday, Environmental
Protection Minister Gilad Erdan rejected Landau’s request to allow the IEC to
use additional polluting fuels at its own discretion, the Environmental
Protection Ministry reported on Wednesday.
Erdan’s letter argues that the
Ministry of Energy and Water Resources is not doing sufficient long-term
planning in the electricity sector, particularly in regard to the environmental
implications of electricity production. In requesting additional usage of such
fuels, the ministry is not taking into account the economic effects of the
resultant health problems that would likely occur due to increased air
Meanwhile, Erdan also rejected insinuations that the
Environmental Protection Ministry was in part responsible for exacerbating the
current natural gas shortage by encouraging its use over heavy fuels.
utterly reject the attempt to throw the current situation of the electricity
market at the Environment Ministry, which has resulted from long years of
oversights and mismanagement of electricity by the Electricity Administration in
the [Energy and Water Resources] Ministry,” Erdan said.
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